Match Report – West Women away at FC United Women
FC UNITED WOMEN 3 – 1 WEST DIDSBURY & CHORLTON WOMEN
Any meeting with FC United is eagerly anticipated by the West faithful and the best performance I’ve seen our team give was in the narrow defeat at home to them in last season’s Manchester Women’s Challenge Cup Semi-Final. So, it seems appropriate that, following the postponement of Wednesday’s planned season opener at Bury, our first NWWFL Premier League game should be against FC.
Contrary to the popular decisions made at WSL level, with games taking place in main stadia, it was slightly disappointing to be playing on 3G, rather than the main Broadhurst Park Pitch. Nevertheless, the weather was fine and with a strong line-up, bolstered by the return of Shauna Edmondson and Rachael Dunlop, things were looking bright enough as we prepared for kick-off.
The early pressure was all with the home team, however, and following a succession of 4 corners, it was a relief when H finally got her head on the ball to make a powerful clearance. Whilst FC continued to have lots of the ball, West managed 2 efforts in the next few minutes. Jami had the ball in the net on 6 minutes but was adjudged offside and on 11 minutes, Rachael got into a good position but her shot went across the face of goal and wide.
Offside decisions had been the main topic of discussion right from the point where Jami’s effort was disallowed. There were numerous contentious decisions on both sides, and things came to a head after 15 minutes when one of our coaches was sent from the technical area by the referee. It really was evident just how important assistant referees are in helping referees with offsides and surely, it’s time that the league insists on them, at least for the Premier League.
West began to get sloppy and continued to give corners away, FC going close a couple of times. Claire made 2 excellent one-on-one saves in the space of a minute, and then on 27 minutes we had the biggest let-off so far when a through ball caused chaos before the FC 18 blasted wide.
It was 37 minutes on the clock before West had another chance. Jami made a great run but her cross was behind Biff. H eventually got the ball, controlled well to make space, but her left foot shot was at the keeper.
The last action of the first half came when FC looked like scoring a certain goal until Katy Wilman produced a sensational block to deny them, and I do mean sensational! 0-0 at half-time, and all to play for in the second period if West could create an opening.
The first ten 10 minutes of the second half were much more positive for West and they were consistently getting into the attacking third. Rachael had a couple of chances, one saved and one fired over, but FC looked really dangerous on the counter attack.
The referee didn’t make himself popular with the home fans as the questionable offside decisions continued but, unfortunately for West, the FC 18 did eventually beat the offside trap and fired home to give them the lead on 63 minutes, the home team very nearly adding a second two minutes later.
West didn’t stop and it was only a couple of minutes before they equalised. A poor clearance out of the FC defence went straight to Biff who got the ball to Rachael who shot high over the keeper to bring us level with a quarter of the game to go.
Mistakes had started to slip back into West’s game and on 76 minutes failure to clear the ball saw it reach the FC 11 who was allowed to turn and finish to give them a 2-1 lead.
Katy ‘The Rock’ Wilman came to the rescue again a couple of minutes later with another amazing challenge to deny a certain goal, and I do mean amazing!
FC were controlling things a lot better by this stage and on 83 minutes their 11 crossed from the left and 9 applied the finish at the back post. 3-1.
West made a couple of changes and continued to probe away, but FC saw the game out. Close until the last 15 minutes but unfortunately, we were left with a familiar outcome from our trip to Broadhurst Park.